Before Eddie Hall would go on to be named the World’s Strongest Man and break two weightlifting world records, he was expelled from high school and worked as a car mechanic in Shropshire, England. While things may not have seemed too promising for him at first, he was ambitious and got involved with competitive bodybuilding. That eventually led to him competing in strongman competitions where he would be named:
How did the former World’s Strongest Man do it? With a lot of dedication to his workout routine and diet plan. Here’s exactly what Eddie did and ate to become a champion and world record holder.
As you can probably imagine, Eddie’s training diet was out of this world. Even when he was at his peak weight, trying to eat so many calories in a day was extremely challenging for him. After he was done eating his morning meals, he would have to take naps because they were so dense.
He also oftentimes woke himself up in the middle of the night to drink a protein shake because he needed more calories than what he could get in during the day.Most of the foods in his diet were high in nutrients with protein being the key element. He also got in plenty of carbs, fats, and water to wash things down. Some of the staple items in his diet were:
He wasn’t too concerned about clean eating considering that some days he would eat an entire cheesecake. There were some things he avoided though including:
He avoided coffee in particular because it prevents an enzyme called amylase from breaking down starches into sugars for energy.
Overall, Eddie’s diet was simple but DENSE. He wasn’t too hard on himself when it came to what he ate. However, he was very strict in terms of how much he ate. For Eddie, calories and enough protein were the bottom lines.
This daily diet is not for the faint of heart. It comes out to a total of 16,000 calories. Here’s everything that Eddie Hall ate in a day while training as a 440-pound professional strongman.
Meal 1, Breakfast: 4 sausages, 4 slices of bacon, 2 fried eggs, baked beans, 4 slices of fried bread, 2 slices of black pudding, plum tomatoes, orange juice, and 1 liter of water
To start the day, Eddie would eat a full English breakfast with everything fried in butter. It’s estimated that this breakfast alone is somewhere between 1,700 and 2,000 calories. After eating this, he would usually go back to bed for about an hour.
Meal 2, Breakfast 2: 100 grams oatmeal made with whole milk, honey, and raisins, two kiwis, one banana, some Nutella, 70 grams of beef jerky, and 4 scoops of whey protein powder
After his hour-long nap, Eddie would wake up and have oatmeal or porridge as he and other Brits would call it. This meal comes out to 1,400 calories. To follow that up, Eddie would takeanothernap.
Meal 3, Morning snack: 150 grams cashew nuts, 1 liter of cranberry juice, 1.5 liters of mineral water
When he was training, Eddie would have this afternoon snack right before a physio appointment. It totals out to around 750 calories.
Meal 4, Lunch: 300 grams ribeye steak, more than 1 pound of pasta, 200 grams vegetables covered in mayonnaise, 1.5 liters of water, and half of a family-size cheesecake. This is where Eddie started to load up on carbs before hitting the gym. Without the cheesecake, the weight of this meal is more than 2 pounds.
The total amount of calories for this meal including the dessert comes out to 4,400 calories. Eddie said that this was the point in the day that eating became more of a chore than anything. And, if you can believe it, he would need to takeanothernap after this meal.
Meal 5, Lunch 2: Plate of tuna sandwiches, 1 box of butter flapjacks (a British snack made of oats and butter), some fruit, and 2 energy drinks. This meal is what he called the “carb load-up” right before heading to the gym.
Technically he drank the energy drinks while he was in the car on the way to the gym so that he would get that sugar high right before he started working out. This meal comes to a total of 2,070 calories.
Meal 6, Mid-workout snack: A few slices of roast beef and 4 scoops of protein powder
Yes, a mid-workout snack. Eddie would stop in the middle of his workout to eat some slices of beef. And, about three-quarters of the way through his workout, he would have another protein shake made with milk.
Meal 7, Dinner: 1 pound of pasta, 1 pound of minced meat in marinara sauce, garlic bread, and half of a family-size cheesecake
For his last big meal of the day, Eddie would have a 2-pound plate of spaghetti with garlic bread and then wash it all down with the second half of the cheesecake. Including the dessert, this meal totals out to 4,400 calories.
Meal 8, Evening snack: A protein bar and 1.5 liters of water
Last but not least, in bed, Eddie would get in a little bit more protein for another 200 calories. This would have helped his muscles recover properly overnight before starting all over again the next day. If he really needed it, he would set an alarm for the middle of the night and wake up to have some more protein powder.
Eddie needed a handful of different supplements to help his muscles grow and recover. Here’s a look at what he was taking while training.
Just like his diet plan, Eddie’s Strongman workout routine was seriously insane. Obviously, the goal was to focus on bodybuilding but he added in specific training techniques to help prepare himself for doing the Strongman competitions.
Here are some of the key components behind Eddie’s training routine:
First off, Eddie’s focus was obviously on getting as strong as possible by putting on some serious muscle mass. For him, that meant lifting at almost his maximum weight for only a few reps at a time. In between sets, he would then take periods of rest to recover from before lifting again.
Second, not only did Eddie take enough time to rest in between sets, but he also spent a few days per week recovering at home. He would take a break on Wednesday to do cardio and stretch and then spend the whole weekend relaxing. He’s also a big proponent of doing physical therapy.
In fact, his physical therapist would come over almost every day of the week to help him. Additionally, he had a set of equipment at home to help him recover and stretch out which he would use almost every day. Overall, allowing his muscles to recover properly was one of his major keys to success.
Lastly, Eddie said that the way he became successful was through consistency. During his training, he never missed a meal, workout, or recovery. 24/7, he was dedicated to achieving his goals.
Having been such a dedicated person for so long, he says there’s a chance now that he’ll carry his skills over to Olympic lifting or even acting. Regardless of what he does next, his work ethic will probably allow him to achieve whatever he wants to accomplish.
This is the exact workout routine that Eddie did to become the World’s Strongest Man and break two world records. It would last between 3 to 4 hours per day including intermittent resting periods. For each of the exercises, he would usually do either 4 or 5 sets.
Day 1, Monday: Chest day
To start the week, Eddie would work out his first large muscle group, the chest. Here are some of the exercises that he did:
Day 2, Tuesday: Leg day and abs
Next up, Eddie would move on to his legs. This is where he was able to build up enough strength to eventually break the deadlift world record at 500 kg. While he was training, working on his larger muscle groups including his core, quads, and hamstrings was more important to him than smaller groups like the calves.
Here are the leg and ab exercises that he did:
Day 3, Wednesday: Cardio, stretching, and light rest
Eddie’s mid-week rest day was unlike the typical rest day. While he did take a weightlifting break, his rest day included a few hours of cardio and stretching while taking extra time to see his physical therapist.
For cardio, he would do:
For a normal person, this would be enough to build muscle and a considerable amount of it. For Eddie though, this was just enough to help him recover and prep to work out the rest of his body the following days.
Day 4, Thursday: Back with arms
After a day of recovery, Eddie moved onto his next major muscle group, the back. He incorporated some arm exercises to make sure he was working out those smaller muscle groups such as the biceps and triceps.
These are the exercises that Eddie did for his back and arms:
Day 5, Friday: Shoulder and traps day
For his last workout day of the week, Eddie focused on his shoulders. Here’s what his routine included:
Days 6 and 7, Saturday and Sunday: Rest days
Eddie took advantage of two rest days over the weekend. He would include some physical therapy in there but otherwise would really take some much-needed time to recover.
This is exactly how Eddie “The Beast” Hall joined the ranks of some of the world’s most famous strongmen including Arnold Schwarzenegger. Maybe you’ll never do a Strongman or go as hard as Eddie did in terms of working out and eating, but you can take some cues as far as building mass and motivation goes.
Bonus tip: Can’t get enough of bodybuilding? Check out our guide to some of the world's most legendary bodybuilders to get some fitness inspiration.